Boris Johnson has avoided answering a question about footage which allegedly showed him and other world leaders sharing a joke about US President Donald Trump.
Drinkers have enjoyed their first post-lockdown pints, while people have been queueing up outside barber shops and hair salons on what has been dubbed “Super Saturday”.The latest easing of lockdown measures in England has also seen restaurants, cinemas, museums and art galleries able to welcome back customers under modified social distancing restrictions.
I am sorry to tell David Starkey that he brought all this furore on himself. Whatever possessed this highly educated man to utter such vile comments?I agree with Sajid Javid and David Olusoga that this mind-set is extremely worrying and disturbing and should be called out, as it widely has been. It is sad to finish an illustrious career like this, but this widespread condemnation is encouraging and sends out an irrefutable message that such casual and dire racist comments will not be tolerated.
The UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 67 in 24 hours to 44,198, according to the latest government figures.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 44,198 people had now died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the disease in the UK, as of 5pm on Friday 3 July.
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Activists have been ridiculed and criticised for appearing to patrol the Scottish border, amid concerns people from England are bringing coronavirus into the country.In a video shared and condemned by Jamie Halcro Johnston, the MSP for Highlands & Islands, a group of people dressed in protective equipment can be seen waving Scottish flags while playing music.
More than 200,000 people in northeast Spain have been put back into an enforced lockdown following several new outbreaks of coronavirus. Residents in the county of Segria, which includes the city of Lleida, in the Catalonia region, were told by authorities not to leave the area from midday (11am in the UK) on Saturday, and were given until 4pm local time (3pm in the UK) to enter the area if outside. Spain has registered 205,545 coronavirus cases and 28,385 deaths, making it one of the worst affected countries in Europe.
In a speech in front of Mount Rushmore, President Donald Trump appeared to slur as he stumbled over several words - most notably “totalitarianism”.The speech to mark Independence Day was an official presidential address that at times felt more like a campaign event, and saw the president accuse “angry mobs” of deploying “cancel culture” to demand “total submission from anyone who disagrees” - referring to protests regarding statues of controversial historical figures.
Dr Ron Daniels is one of Britain’s leading intensive care doctors. A consultant at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust he was on the frontline when Britain’s Covid-19 epidemic first peaked and, with colleagues, saved many lives. Like many doctors, Dr Daniels himself came down with the virus. He suffered only a mild bought of the disease but even now, several months later, he can feel its impact. “The cough has gone but I’m I'm still a bit breathless,” he says. “For example, I routinely go up five or six flights of stairs at the hospital instead of taking the lift and I'm more breathless now than I normally would be. It's not stopping me doing anything. It’s just noticeable”. With the initial Covid emergency now ebbing in several countries, doctors and scientists are turning their attention to the longer-term health impacts of Covid-19. The virus was only discovered six months ago and the evidence remains thin but it is already clear that doctors and health systems will be dealing with the fallout for decades to come. How long can symptoms last, mental and physical? The majority of people which catch Covid-19 suffer only very mild disease and it passes like a common cold or sore throat, causing no lasting damage. But for those, like Dr Daniels, who are harder hit but for whom the disease remains relatively mild, breathlessness, fatigue and muscle ache can last for some considerable time. Early on in the crisis, researchers at King’s College London developed a Covid-19 app for people to record their symptoms daily. They report that one in ten people have symptoms lasting for between eight to 10 weeks and say symptoms can fade away only to come bouncing back. Perhaps as many as 30,000 in the UK have experienced this form of the disease, informally dubbed “long-term Covid”. Professor Paul Garner, an expert in global health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, suffered weeks of exhaustion after contacting what he suspects was Covid-19. “Sometimes I felt better and became optimistic,” he wrote in the British Medical Journal, “but then the next day I felt as though someone had hit me around the head with a cricket bat.” Are there mental health impacts? The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the psychological impact of Covid-19 to date is best seen in “elevated rates of stress or anxiety”. “But as new measures and impacts are introduced – especially quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to rise”. Again, even the most experienced are effected. “The virus disappears, but its consequences linger for weeks”, reported the virologist Prof Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who fell ill with COVID-19 in mid-March and whose diary of his own illness has done much to raise awareness of the virus’s long term effects. Prof Poit, who has devoted much of his life to fighting viruses including HIV and Ebola, was hospitalised and remained breathless many weeks later. But the virus also impacted his psyche. “Now that I have felt the compelling presence of a virus in my body myself, I look at viruses differently. I realise this one will change my life, despite the confrontational experiences I’ve had with viruses before. I feel more vulnerable,” he writes. What about those with severe disease? The more severe the disease, the stronger its impact, and for those who require mechanical ventilation to survive, Covid-19 is likely to be with them the rest of their lives. Doctors report a wide array of complications in such patients ranging from permanent scarring of the lungs, to kidney, heart and even brain damage. Many suffer septic shock. In others, the virus prompts an immune response which makes the blood more viscous and likely to clot. This can lead to heart attack and stroke. To assess the likely long term impact in these cases, doctors have turned to studies of patients who were hit by Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2003 and others hit with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). A Hong Kong study of SARS survivors showed one in two had much poorer exercise capacity and health status after two years. Only 78% of were able to return to full‐time work 1 year after infection. Another study revealed that 40% of people recovering from SARS still had chronic fatigue symptoms 3.5 years after being diagnosed. The biggest study of ARDS survivors shows a similar pattern. It tracked 109 survivors of ARDS over 5 years after discharge from intensive care. “Exercise limitation, physical and psychological sequelae, decreased physical quality of life, and increased costs and use of health care services are important legacies of severe lung injury,” it concluded. Precise estimates for the long term health impacts of Covid-19 will not be known for many years to come but that they will be significant there can be little doubt. As Prof Poit puts it: “Many people think COVID-19 kills one per cent of patients, and the rest get away with some flulike symptoms. But the story gets more complicated…. there will be hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, possibly more, who will need treatments such as renal dialysis for the rest of their lives. The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more questions arise. We are learning while we are sailing”.
Customers at the Toll Gate pub, part of the Wetherspoons chain, in Harrringay, north London, enjoy their first pint in months following easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Punters were invited to sanitize their hands on arrival and to pick up a paper and pencil. Customers are being asked to provide their contact details every time they visit a Wetherspoons pub from today. "I've been banged up [inside the home] for three months, it's great to back! Cheers!" said one happy customer. "I've come in to see some regulars and some friends, hopefully it'll continue," said another.
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Pubs and restaurants have finally reopened in England following months of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown.The first pints were poured as restrictions were eased at 6am on so-called Super Saturday.Chancellor Rishi Sunak has welcomed the reopening of businesses, which included hairdressers.On a visit to The Bell & Crown in Chiswick, west London, he said: “The hospitality sector is a vital part of our economy and crucial to people’s livelihoods – Britain’s pubs and bars alone employ almost half a million people – which is why it’s such good news that so many people are able to return to work this weekend, helping us all to enjoy summer safely.”Read more: Pubs open in UK for ‘Super Saturday’, but Covid-19 could crash the partyBut the government has urged the public not to get carried away with the new freedoms.Prime minister Boris Johson warned on Friday night “we are not out of the woods yet” and added ministers “will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions” in case of an outbreak.Health secretary Matt Hancock told the Daily Mail people were entitled to enjoy themselves at pubs but added: “You could end up behind bars if you break the law.”He also said he would not “shirk” from shutting pubs and restaurants again, and imposing local lockdowns if needed.Pubs in Wales and Scotland must remain closed until later this month as the devolved nations are lifting their own lockdown rules more slowly, but hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes in Northern Ireland reopened on Friday.In England, couples could also get married again and cinemas were also allowed to open on Saturday.Read more: Boris Johnson tells Britons to behave responsibly as pubs re-open
More than a dozen members of Labour’s ruling committee have accused party officials of defending “racist, sexist and abusive” messages about colleagues – and called for a public apology from Sir Keir Starmer.One third of the National Executive Committee’s members, including representatives from four trade unions, wrote to the Labour leader this week accusing his office of misleading them about how the party dealt with leaked WhatsApp messages by senior officials detailed in a controversial internal report.
After suicide attempts, fights erupting on board, and migrants jumping into the sea, charity SOS Mediterranee launched an emergency alert on Friday, demanding to be allowed to immediately disembark at a safe port.
Donald Trump accused "angry mobs" of trying to erase US history by removing statues in a dark and divisive Independence Day speech on Friday evening from Mount Rushmore.Painting himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism, the US president barely mentioned the coronavirus pandemic, despite the country that setting a new record for confirmed new cases, as he struggled to correctly pronounce a series of words.
The government of Catalonia has ordered an indefinite new lockdown for the Segria region of Spain due to outbreaks of Covid-19.The confinement came into effect at midday on Saturday and has no end date, regional president Quim Torra said.
Monty Python star Eric Idle has spoken out against a Twitter post by the comedy troupe’s official Twitter page about the reopening of pubs.Boris Johnson has given the greenlight for pubs and restaurants to reopen from Saturday (4 July) after four months of Covid-19 lockdown.
Coronavirus UK: are Covid-19 cases rising or falling near you?. Latest updates: how has Covid-19 progressed where you live? Check the week-on-week changes across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Converting Istanbul's Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque would be "unacceptable", a senior official in the Russian Orthodox Church said on Saturday. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a sixth century building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and now one of Turkey's most visited monuments.
A further 67 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in UK hospitals on a major day of lockdown easing.The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed 44,198 people have now died of coronavirus across all settings in the UK as of 5pm on Friday – up by 67 from the previous day.
Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> is not ruling out moving its headquarters from the Netherlands to Britain, the oil company's chief executive Ben van Beurden said in a Dutch newspaper interview published on Saturday. Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant Unilever <ULVR.L> <UNA.AS> said last month it plans to ditch its dual Anglo-Dutch legal structure and create a single entity in Britain. Van Beurden did not explicitly say Shell wants to move its headquarters, het Financieele Dagblad said.
India’s topmost medical research body said that it is attempting to launch the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine on August 15. However, health experts have questioned the short timeline.The order by Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Friday directs 12 hospitals selected for carrying out clinical trials of Covaxin to ensure that the subject enrolment is initiated in the next few days.Ambitious target “It is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by 15 August after completion of all clinical trials. Bharat Biotech is working expeditiously to meet the target. However, the final outcome will depend on the cooperation of all clinical trial sites involved," said Bhargava.“Non-compliance will be viewed very seriously,” Bhargava wrote in his letterThe candidate vaccine, Covaxin, is developed by Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company, in partnership with the National Institute of Virology, an ICMR laboratory.Bharat Biotech is a drug manufacturer that delivers 4 billion doses around the world for infections like rotavirus, hepatitis, Zika, Japanese encephalitis and others. But Covaxin is yet to enter the clinical trials phase, a stage that other vaccine candidates across the world have already raced to. The earliest any of these expect to determine safety and efficacy is not until second quarter of next year.It is for this reason health experts have expressed concern about the crunched timeline and even criticized this hurried approach. Many maintained that any clinical trial would take at least one year to complete all essential steps that include a three-phased trial followed by safety efficacy study, side-effect profile and antibody analyses.Experts and investigators express concern“It will be a very challenging and difficult task, considering that we have to look at both efficacy and safety of any vaccine that is introduced,” said Randeep Guleria, the head of the clinical research group of the national task force for Covid-19.What’s more data about the vaccine’s preclinical performance has not been made public yet. Investigators point out that vaccine development timelines are taxing and tedious beginning from virus isolation to vaccine licencing. The Ebola vaccine, for instance, also saw an expedited global response. Work commenced in 2014 resulting in the vaccine licensed after five years.“Developing an effective vaccine is a time-consuming process. Recruitment of participants in itself can take months even if we try to expedite everything like we are doing for Covid-19,” said Anant Bhan, a researcher in bioethics and global health.“Even with accelerated timelines, this seems rushed, and hence with potential risks, inadequate attention to the process.”The number of cases of the coronavirus disease in India is more than 625,000 and the country’s death toll is above 18,000.A global race is underway to develop and mass-produce an effective vaccine to counter the new, deadly, and highly infectious coronavirus disease, COVID-19 that has brought much of the world to a standstill.There are more than 100 vaccines in preclinical development by pharmaceutical companies, academic institutions, government agencies, and others.Seventeen vaccine candidates, across at least ten countries, are already undergoing clinical trials. However, no vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use.
The Duke of Cambridge’s wish for a pint in his local after months of lockdown was granted when he visited a pub ahead of bars and restaurants reopening. A few weeks ago William joked he was looking forward to having a drink and on Friday he was able to savour a cider when he visited the Rose and Crown in the Norfolk village of Snettisham. The duke and his family have visited the 600-year-old pub, hotel and restaurant, which is a few miles from their home of Anmer Hall, and William returned to show his support for Britain’s hospitality industry on the eve of customers returning.